Travel-Minded: Hayley Rubery
As we sat nursing hot Americanos and poached eggs in deepest, darkest January at a King’s Cross restaurant earlier this year, it was a little tough to imagine the azure seas and exotic beaches our guest – blogger Hayley Rubery – had in mind for 2016. The aspiring travel blogger outlined her ambitious #12Countries12Months travel mission, which seemed like an unimaginable idea to our winter-fuzzy minds...
Five months later, the Frock Me I’m Famous blogger has been true to her word, visiting 5 different places already. We were interested in the pros, cons, and experiences still on the cards from 12 months' worth of traveling, so – as she nears her halfway point – we tapped Hayley for the goss. Ever considered running off to a far-flung destination? This one's for you. From easy-to-forget travel essentials to hacks for staying sane through jet lag, plus vacation pics to bring on some serious wanderlust, consider this your beginner's guide to traveling like a pro.
For anyone who doesn’t know, tell us about your 2016 travel mission.
This year my goal was to satisfy my wanderlust by traveling to a different country every month. The only rules I set myself were: the trip had to be at least 3 days – so I could really get a feel for the place – and at least half my trips would be to countries I’ve never visited before.
Since starting your adventure, have you spent a lot of time traveling alone?
Not yet! My first trip was with my best friend, two were with my boyfriend, and two were press trips. I plan to do some solo traveling this year – I love to travel alone. Europe's great for traveling alone. Ffor me, it feels like a home away from home.
How do you prep emotionally to travel solo?
Don't overthink it – it’s easy to scare yourself out of going. For me, traveling alone for the first time took me out of my comfort zone. But it’s such an exhilarating, refreshing experience that I’d recommend everyone try at least once. Just be organized, go see the world, and enjoy it!
What are the biggest pros and cons to solo travel?
Working on your own schedule is a definite plus! It was such a nice feeling to wake up (at my own time) and think: ‘what do I want to do today?' The biggest con is no photographer! As a blogger it’s always nice to travel with someone to get that #OOTD or classic blogger shot. It’s much harder when traveling alone.
What are your 3 top pointers for people considering taking a year to travel?
1. Save, save, save! If you’re planning to spend the year traveling, I’d recommend saving seriously, for around 6 months, before your trip!
2. Research. I use websites like Pinterest and Lonely Planet to help me narrow down where in the world I want to go next. Then I check what time of year is the best to travel to each place, and look at flight prices to check it can work.
3. Preparation. I went from Iceland in February to The Maldives in March so I had to prepare for each country’s different climate. Work on a yearly schedule of destinations and prep for each place, and re-use products and clothes where possible to save money!
How do you make sure you’re taking good care of your body and mind while you’re away?
It’s all about balance. If you’re out exploring for 8 hours one day, make sure you’re relaxing by the pool the next. Another tip is to drink plenty of water (especially when flying) – it allows your body to flush out any toxins and helps you feel more awake to explore.
Have your travels changed your outlook and future decisions?
Definitely! I’ve always had a ‘live life in the moment’ kind of attitude, but even I’ve surprised myself. I proved to myself that anything is possible, and I really can live out my dream. It’s made me realize that the only person that can truly stop you from living is you!
Lastly, what’s next on the Frock Me I’m Famous itinerary?
Next up's a trip to Barcelona, hopefully followed by Barbados in July! I also have Croatia, Japan and Canada on my bucket list – but I’m always keeping my mind open to new adventures, so who knows? You can follow my travels by keeping up to date with #12Countries12Months – join the ride!